Matt Ritchie was withdrawn from the Scotland squad for the upcoming World Cup games, but the good news is that he should be available for our game at Southampton a week on Sunday.
Christian Atsu is injured and not expected to play for Ghana in this window and he also is expected to be fit for the Saints game.
Once again the Newcastle game is being televised live around the world, and in the first 7 games of the season we have done quite well picking up 10 points and generally playing well.
Newcastle do not have many class players, but Rafa has formed a good team with our players knowing exactly what they have to do.
Contrast that to what was a woeful performance by England last night against Slovenia, where 11 players seemed to have come together for the first time and were asked to play together the best they could.
Matt Ritchie – should be fit for Southampton game
We have no idea why Gareth Southgate is the manager since he’s done nothing in management to warrant the England job.
Being a nice guy and English should not be the main reason an England manager is appointed.
Matt Ritchie has a muscle injury, and Atsu has a knee injury which will need surgery at some point this season according to the Chronicle.
He has received injections in the early part of the season so he could play, so at some point this season we may see Atsu out of the team while he has surgery.
Maybe Rafa wants to wait until January to get in another winger as cover for Atsu?
Ritchie has been a regular all season, and one of our stars and Atsu has started six of Newcastle’s seven games so far.
This is what Benitez has said about the two wingers:
“Atsu has a little bit of discomfort in his knee and we have to manage it carefully,”
“Matt Ritchie has been playing too many games.”
“He was working very hard, he had a little bit of discomfort and a few little things that he was talking with the doctor.”
“It was better that we didn’t take a risk.”
That’s good news about Ritchie and Atsu.
And as we pointed out yesterday our injury record since Rafa Benitez arrived has been stellar because we have had very few injuries.
Back on the International front, Scotland beat 10 man Slovakia last night and if they can beat Slovenia on Sunday they will qualify for the playoffs.
England qualified last night by winning 1-0 with a stoppage-time goal from captain Harry Kane, but the performance was poor given the class of players in the team.